Launching a Search Engine Friendly Website

If you have a brand new website, you may need to wait several months before your site appears on the search engines. If you do nothing extra to get it listed, it could be years, if ever. Here are some tips to help you launch a website that will get the search engines’ attention.

Before we begin, I want you to understand that this article assumes your site is already search engine friendly. How can a website not be search engine friendly? Well, if the site is created in Flash, contains frames, or is mostly made up of graphics, it will be basically unseen by the search engines. No amount of submitting will get this site listed. Why? Because search engines can’t "see" graphics. Therefore, a site that is all graphics or Flash will appear to be an empty page. Who wants to index an empty page? Not Google. If you are not sure if your site is search engine friendly, then hire a Internet marketing specialist to review it and provide feedback.

Domain Name:
Register your domain name as soon as you can and upload a one page site that has some very basic information about the company along with contact information.  Why?  Google has a probation period for new domain names.  They generally will not list a new domain for 6 months to a year.  By having a one page site available while you are developing your site, it starts the probation period sooner.  Thus, your completed site may be indexed faster.

Incoming Links:
These are links to your site from an outside source - chambers of commerce, a vendor, an association you belong to, etc. You want to have sites that have a Page Rank of at least 3 out of a possible 10. (Page Rank is determined by how popular a website is). For example - virtualtech.com has a Page Rank of 6 out of 10. An easy way to increase links to your site is to submit it to Internet directories that have a high Page Rank.
http://www.directoryarchives.com is a good place to start.  To determine a site’s Page Rank go to http://www.rustybrick.com/pagerank-prediction.php

Internal Links:
This are links within your own website.  Many people use the infamous "click here" link.  Search engines will follow a "click here" link, but a link that also contains your search terms has more of an effect and helps to get the site ranked faster and higher.  Here are two examples of a possible link from a website.  Which do you think is more useful to site visitors and search engines?

Example 1 - Click here for more information on our products.

Example 2 - Learn more about our picture frames. 

Search engines will respond better to Example 2.

Online Press Releases:
I have mentioned this before but I feel it is worth mentioning again. This is a powerful tool that many people just don’t take advantage of.  When writing a press release for the web, you need to be sure to include your search terms and links to your website and specific web pages. If you don’t know how to write a press release for the web, hire a professional.  www.prweb.com and www.i-newswire.com are good places to start.

Submitting Articles:
Again, I have mentioned this before, but again, people are not taking advantage of this powerful tool. By positioning yourself as an expert, you are raising your business up a level, which can lead to additional incoming links to your site.  Again, it is important to include your search terms and links back to your site. And if you are uncomfortable writing articles, hire a professional. There are many places you can submit your articles to. Here are a couple of links to get you started - www.goarticles.com and www.isnare.com.

Participating in a Forum:
This is time-consuming but as a new business you may have more time then money.  Find a forum that your target market is using.  For example - if you own a greenhouse, join a forum about gardening.  Once you find a forum, actively participate by asking and answering questions.  Be sure to include your signature when submitting to the forum.  Your signature should include a link to your site. 

A Pay-per-Click Campaign:
This is a great way to get your Internet marketing campaign started.  These programs allow you to get your listings on the search engines within 72 hours.  There are fees associated with these campaigns and you will need time to create effective ads.

October 1, 2006

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